There are a ton of articles out there all about the “Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Newborn Photographer” and some of them are incredibly insightful. But I think a better name would really be “The 10 Questions Newborn Photographers WANT you to ask.” The biggest reason being that we’re all tired of answering the age old question of “what’s your price?”
Price inquiries are quite often the first thing in an email, first thing people look for on the website and the first thing people ask over the phone. And I know budget is important. Of course it matters. But there are so many other things that should be asked first! Safety being the biggest factor. Are you really going to hand your baby over to someone who has very little experience or newborn safety knowledge simply because they’re less expensive? Don’t hand your most precious new family member over to just anyone. The answers to these questions matter so much more than price ever could, so be sure to ask them.
1. What safety practices do you have in place in your studio specifically geared toward the newborn client?
Why you should ask it: Qualified newborn photographers will have no problem answering this question. They’ll be so excited you asked it first! If you ask this question and the photographer fumbles for an answer or gives a vague response you should definitely raise a red flag.
The Glean & Co Answer: I’m so glad you asked! Safety for my tiny clients is absolutely my number one concern. I never leave baby unattended or out of reach, always add weights to the bottom of my buckets and props to prevent tipping and always use a spotter for our sessions. (Whether it’s a trained newborn assistant or the newborn’s own parent!) In addition to these safety measures, I often composite images together in Photoshop if that is the safest option for baby. I thoroughly wash my hands before each session as well as use hand sanitizer throughout the session. I am happy to wear a mask if you would like as well!
2. Have you received any newborn specific posing training and with whom did you train?
Why you should ask it: While many genres of photography can be safely executed by anyone with a camera, newborn photography requires specialized training. A good newborn photographer will have taken online and/or in person trainings and know how to safely pose your baby. Babies should never be suspended or put into poses that strain their tiny fragile bodies.
The Glean & Co Answer: When I first joined Glean + Co and became the newborn photography specialist, I realized I needed more hands on training to keep my babies safe. I attended an in-person 3 day workshop that was absolutely eye-opening on every level. I will admit that before attending that conference, I didn’t know what I didn’t know- and it’s actually pretty scary to think how many newborn photographers are out there without this knowledge. I’ve dedicated myself over the past 3 years to watching every video and training I can get my hands on to keep my tiniest clients safe and comfy in their poses. I practice baby-led posing and never force a particular pose if baby can’t seem to settle in or seems uncomfortable in any way. I’m also mom to 3 boys of my own so I’ve done quite a bit of baby holding!
3. What will happen in the case of illness, your own or otherwise?
Why you should ask it: You want to know the plan for rescheduling in case the photographer is sick, you are sick or another family member isn’t felling well. Do they let siblings come in to the studio if they are coughing? How many clients are packed in to their schedule, potentially making it difficult to find another time? Even if you don’t have any older kids yourself, it’s good to know what health levels are expected from the clients who were in the studio before you.
The Glean & Co Answer: We ask that everyone be in 100% good health when attending any session with us. That includes the photographer as well as every member of the client’s family! While we know it can be inconvenient to have to reschedule, the health of our clients and our own family is by far more important than a set schedule. We are a low volume & luxury photography studio which allows us to take on fewer clients and give us much more flexibility in our schedules should a session need to be rescheduled. We never do more than 1 newborn session in a single day and rarely take more than 6-8 newborns a month to ensure we can provide the highest level of service for our clients.
4. Are you currently up to date on the necessary vaccines needed when working with a pregnant or newborn population?
Why you should ask it: Newborn sessions typically take place between 1-3 weeks old, yet they don’t get their first set of vaccinations until they’re around 8 weeks old. (And some things they cannot be vaccinated against until they are 6+ months.) Whether or not you choose to vaccinate your baby, they are safest in the hands of someone who is up to date on their own vaccinations. (Want more info on this topic? Check out this article from the CDC)
The Glean & Co Answer: YES! I am fully vaccinated, up to date on my Tdap and get a flu shot every fall.
5. Is the studio area sanitized between sessions?
Why you should ask it: You never know who’s been in the space before you and even if they showed no symptoms doesn’t mean they can’t get sick tomorrow. You’ll want to know that precautions are taken, the props and items being used on your own baby are cleaned and that the studio space is as germ free as possible.
The Glean & Co Answer: This topic has obviously become a much bigger deal in 2020, but not much has changed as far as our sanitization practices. We’ve always washed all items between clients, sterilized surfaces and props touched and kept the studio as germ free as possible. We will continue to do that moving forward to protect our clients.
6. Are you a legal business?
Why you should ask it: Photography is an easy business for people with a nice camera to decide to do on the side. But just like you don’t want to hire someone to work on your roof who isn’t insured, you don’t want to work with a photographer who isn’t either. Accidents happen, make sure the person you’re working with is covered.
The Glean & Co Answer: Glean & Co, LLC is a legal, tax paying business with full insurance. While we do everything we can to prevent any kind of accidents from happening while shooting, we want to make sure we’re completely covered in case they do.
7. Do you do posed or natural (lifestyle) portraits?
Why you should ask it: Don’t just hire someone who “takes pictures of babies” find the person who can create the images that you’ve been dreaming about! There is a vast difference between a natural portrait in the comfort of your home and a posed photo in a studio. Check out the work on their website or ask to see full client galleries to ensure that you’d be happy to receive a similar result from your own session. Knowing what you want can be half the battle- take the quiz to see what kind of newborn photography you like the best!
The Glean & Co Answer: I love it all! I offer posed portraits in the studio, natural portraits in the comfort of your own home, or my very favorite option is lifestyle portraits in the studio! I absolutely love the combo sessions where I’m able to get some great posed images of a sleeping new baby and a more relaxed “first family photo” with a lifestyle setup. Check out this little girl’s gallery to see what I mean! The most important thing to me is to discuss with my clients what they really want so that I can capture the images they’ve been dreaming about having on their walls.
8. Is family posing included?
Why you should ask it: Some photographers are more than happy to have the whole extended family in the studio, where others are baby only. Some photographers also have separate rates depending on who is involved. Make sure to ask who will be photographed.
The Glean & Co Answer: I always encourage parents to get in the images! I know sometimes new moms don’t feel their best right after having a baby, but it’s always better to take the photos and then do nothing with them than to avoid taking them and wish you had down the road. You can’t get this time back! As a mom of 3 rapidly growing boys I can tell you that I just wish I would have taken even more while they were tiny.
9. Do you offer a client closet? (props, wardrobe, accessories, etc)
Why you should ask it: Some photographers have it all- dresses for mom, shirts for dad, clothing for older siblings and all the wraps, headbands, bonnets and other newborn goodies. Others show up with their cameras ready to take your picture. What type of experience are you looking for?
The Glean & Co Answer: We have a massive collection of newborn items in every color of the rainbow and our client closet for other family members is growing as well! We have a variety of options for older siblings up to age 8 as well as a few dresses for mom to choose from. We’re more than happy to schedule an appointment to have you come look through all the options to see if there’s something that will work for your family! We also have lists of favorite vendors that we can send you to help you find that perfect items for your family. Want to read our full guide to styling your family photography session in Boise, Idaho? Check it out here.
10. What is included in the price?
Why you should ask it: Photography rates vary widely, but generally there are two camps photographers fall in- digital photographers who offer a set amount of images included in their price and product photographers who usually charge a sitting fee and then the client decides what products they would like to purchase after they have seen the images.
The Glean & Co Answer: We are a full service product photography company! Meaning our whole goal is to help you get something on your wall or on your coffee table. (That doesn’t mean we don’t also do digital images of course, a digital copy is included with every print purchased.) All family members are welcome and encouraged to participate in the sitting (no extra charge if grandma wants to come!) and we help you pick your very favorites at your ordering appointment. Every image is meticulously retouched and then sent to our professional labs.
Our sitting fee includes:
- a pre-session consultation to plan out the details of your session
- the time and talent of the photographer
- a newborn session lasting approximately 2-3 hours with lots of stops for cuddling and feeding
- access to our entire client closet, studio backgrounds and newborn props
- a design and ordering appointment to choose your favorite images and decide how you’d like them printed
Are you having a baby in Boise, Idaho? Schedule your FREE consultation with Boise Newborn Photographer, Glean & Co today!